I did not want to believe it. This was a complete surprise and very disheartening to hear. As I woke up from my sleep to then scroll through my Facebook feed that is when I saw this article headline by Polygon, “Microsoft cancels Fable Legends, plans to shutdown Lionhead Studios“. Again, I just did not want to believe it. To verify the story I checked IGN, Gamspot, and the main hub to verify major headlines, Twitter. Sure enough, #LionheadStudios was trending.
So in case you have no idea what I am talking about then let me fill you in. Microsoft has officially canceled the 5-mulitplayer co-op game, Fable Legends. Microsoft has cancelled the development of Project Knoxville and closed Press Play Studios in Denmark. Probably the biggest upset is the proposed closure of Lionhead Studios.
This is again quite disheartening to those who put all their time and effort and creating this IP (intellectual property). A very special IP that was supposed show the power of Xbox One and Windows 10 integration, but now the world may never know…well at least not through Fable Legends.
For full disclosure, I have been a part of the Fable Legends closed beta going on 9 months now. I can definitively tell you that the game was damn near done. Yes, there were glitches and mishaps early on, but I played it 2 weeks ago and everything went smoothly…for the most part. The gameplay was smooth, but one could ponder, “Was the game actually fun?” I would say yes, however, I did not spend much time in multiplayer matches so I can not comment on that. I do not want to get too specific, but the gameplay and the mechanics were satisfactory.
To wrap up, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone at Lionhead Studios and others in creating such a wonderful franchise. I enjoyed playing through the world on Albion in both Fable 2 and Fable 3. I hope everyone finds a new gaming studio to call home! There has been a serious layoffs and studio closure in the past 5 years or so. This is very concerning of course. My hope is that the market shifts put people in more transformative spaces instead of strict monocultures within game development.